Edible Mushrooms are mainly fleshy and edible fruit bodies, appearing below ground or above ground. They have nutritional values as well as they are good to taste. The act of consuming mushrooms, dates back to ancient times, and they were basically for 2 reasons – supposedly medicinal properties as well as for food, that were believed in China. But for the Roman and for the Greeks, mushrooms were used by the upper class of people only and for culinary purposes.
Not all mushrooms are edible as few contain poisonous properties and are not safe to eat. So, accurately determining of and proper identification of a species is the only safe way to ensure edibility, before trying them. They are harvested wild or cultivated and are commonly available in markets. There are few mushrooms that are difficult to obtain, may be collected on a smaller scale by private gatherers and available at farmer’s markets or at the local grocers.
The different types of Mushrooms that are available are –
Button Mushrooms are the most common type of mushroom found in India. They are very popular choice for cooking especially Italian cuisines. They can also be used for Indian curries. Almost 90% of the mushrooms consumed around the world are actually different variants of the button mushrooms. They have a mild flavor and a soft texture and adds a lot of taste to the cuisines.
Portobello Mushrooms actually look like the giant versions of Button Mushrooms, but is a little different in terms of the flavor and even the texture. The flavor is woody in nature and is sold in dry form. They are considered to be one of the most flavor-some mushrooms and are popularly known used in cooking, especially Italian cooking.
Shitake Mushrooms are another variety of mushrooms with a very low water content and has a lot of medicinal properties. They bear a smoky flavour and are very delicious to taste. The demand of these type of mushrooms are very recent and hence they are widely being cultivated in the northern states of India.
Fresh Oyster Mushrooms are grown extensively in the tropical regions of India. They are ‘fan-shaped’ mushrooms and are super popular in cooking. The flavour and odour of these types of mushrooms are very mild but when exposed to heat, they get enhanced. They are very rich in nutrients.
King Oyster Mushrooms are another type of mushroom which has gained its popularity in gourmet restaurants. They are silky in their texture and has along and an elegant look. All the parts of the mushrooms are edible. These types of mushrooms are widely used in soups and salads but at times they can a little expensive compared to the other types of mushrooms.
Cremini Mushrooms are a type of mushroom, which are low in calories and fat but are extremely rich in antioxidants, fiber and potassium. They also have some protein in them. These mushrooms can be eaten regularly and can prevent one to have constipation, oxidative stress, heart disease and even pregnancy-related issues like high blood pressure or diabetes.
Milky Mushrooms are a type of mushroom which are excellent edible mushrooms with high fiber. The high fiber content makes it excellent for stomach related ailments. They are also a good source of vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. They are grown tropically and in a high temperature or during the summer season and they also have an excellent shelf life.